Cognitive Business: When Cloud and Cognitive Computing Merge
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Cloud computing has taken over the business world! With almost maniacal focus, single proprietors and Board Directors of the world’s largest conglomerates see this new model as a “must do”. This rapid shift is, in fact, accelerating. As Jeff Bertolucci observes in “The Shift to Cloud Services Is Happening Faster Than Expected”:
“According to the sixth annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey, which examines the big-picture trends shaping IT infrastructure delivery and strategy, the move to cloud services is accelerating. The Uptime Institute’s February 2016 poll of more than 1,000 data center and IT professionals predicts that an even faster shift to the cloud will occur over the next four years, reports ZDNet.”
Another maybe even more important trend that is actually being driven by cloud computing is the rapid expansion of cognitive computing. In this arena, IBM’s Watson, famously known for defeating Jeopardy gameshow champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, has quickly established itself as a commercial cognitive computing powerhouse. Contemporary reports of the Jeopardy contest from the New York Times cited this victory as IBM’s “…proof that the company has taken a big step toward a world in which intelligent machines will understand and respond to humans, and perhaps inevitably, replace some of them”. Although we are not yet at the human replacement stage, the merger of cloud and cognitive computing is rocking the business status quo.
Coined as “Cognitive Business”, this trend can deliver quantum level improvement to just about any industry vertical. Examples include:
- Using highly automated and economic cloud infrastructure to deliver proactive and predictive monitoring and threat interception in cybersecurity;
- Leveraging cloud computing device independence to enable real-time social media analytics that coordinate delivery of context driven information and commercial offers across multiple marketing channels;
- Establishing connectivity across over 6.4 billion sensors so that analytics and cognitive computing programs can provide actionable insight from real-time and historic data; and
Cognitive systems understand by interaction, reason by generating recommendations and hypotheses, and learn from human experts and data. Since they never stop learning they also never stop providing business value. With this blending of cloud infrastructure and cognitive applications, the impossible can suddenly become easy!
If your business wants to take advantage of this important transition, the time to take action is now. Your initial steps should include:
- Develop a cognitive strategy by deciding which of your products, services, processes and operations should be infused with cognition. Your strategy should include identifying your organizations data needs and picking the experts to train the cognitive system.
- Collect and curate the data that is most useful to driving your business model. This step will help in creating an organizational foundation of data and analytics.
- Use cloud services that are designed specifically for your industry vertical. Such services will incorporate the application programming interface (API) building blocks necessary to power your future cognitive products and services.
- Acquire hybrid cloud service broker expertise and develop a hybrid infrastructure transition plan that combines your current IT systems with private and/or public clouds. This combination will serve as a backbone of your cognitive business.
- Establish and build-in a data-centric security model from the start. This focus will give you the ability to secure every transaction, piece of data and interaction as cognitive systems make their way into the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Secure systems ensure trust in the entire system and ultimately, the organization’s reputation.
(Five Ways To Build A Cognitive Business, )